Speer’s Rise In The Nazi Party

1375 words - 6 pages

Speer’s Rise in the Nazi Party

Albert Speer rose from a mere architect to be one of the most
influential Nazi leaders of the Third Reich, and self-admittedly
Hitler’s closest friend. As a young, struggling architect Speer joined
the Nazi Party as a ‘Septemberling’, and subsequently began to design
many of the displays and structures that succeeded in promoting the
Fuhrer Myth. Within the NSDAP Speer progressed to the position of
Minister for Armaments and War Production in 1942, a reward for his
superior managerial skills, and effectively utilised in the Nazi war
effort. However, Speer’s rise in the NSDAP was often degraded by the
members of the ‘old guard’, who thought that he had not earned his
affluent position in Nazi society, but was rather a result of his
friendship with Hitler.

Albert Speer was born on 19th March 1905 into an upper-middle class
family in the German city of Mannheim, and as a result of his families
affluent position in society, they were relatively untouched by the
Second World War. Nevertheless, he was avidly opposed to the war guilt
clause that was encapsulated in the Treaty of Versailles, a view
similarly held by the Nazi Party. After the memorisation of hearing
Hitler speak at a student rally in 1930, he applied to join the Nazi
Party, and on 1st March 1931, Speer became its 474 481st member. At
this time Speer played little part in party affairs, but joined some
small subsidiary Nazi organisations, including the NSKK (motor club).
It was however, his involvement in the Nazi Party that gave him
employment throughout the difficult depression years, after Speer
failed in establishing a private architectural practice. In July 1931
Karl Hanke commissioned Speer for the refurbishment of the NSDAP
headquarters in Berlin, his first for the party. Upon its success
Speer was further commissioned in March 1933 to modernise the interior
of the Ministry of Propaganda, headed by Joseph Goebbels. Although
only small, these commissioned allowed Speer to impress the Nazi
leaders, with both his architectural and managerial prowess.

Albert Speer’s organisation of the May Day Rally at Tempelhof airfield
in 1933 was a major development in his rise within the Nazi Party, as
his staging was a stunning success, pleasing Hitler. Speer encircled
the field with a ring of search lights, projecting light thousands on
meters into the sky in what became known as the ‘cathedral of ice’, a
setting that was complimented by huge Nazi and German flags as a
backdrop. Subsequently, Speer was appointed the position of
Commissioner for the Artistic and Technical Presentation of the Party
Rallies and Demonstrations, and fundamental in designing the backdrop
of the August 1933 Nuremberg Rally. His golden spreadeagle design
required the personal approval of the Fuhrer, which was Speer...

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